Reading lots of books is likely to have been the source of success for Bohally Intermediate pupil Verity Jones, of Blenheim, the only year 8 pupil in New Zealand to have received 100 per cent in an international spelling competition.
Verity was among 11 New Zealand children who achieved full marks in the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS).
ICAS are optional assessments for pupils conducted annually in New Zealand and more than 20 countries in subjects such as maths, writing, English, science, spelling and computer skills.
Verity put her good spelling down to a vast amount of reading. Practice had little to do with it, she said.
"I read a lot of books, especially books with old-fashioned language because I like the language. I just think it's interesting."
Out of 50 words in the test, the only one she stumbled on was "forecast".
Deputy principal and ICAS co-ordinator Petros Kapralos said Verity's classmate and friend Catherine Nelson had just missed out on getting 100 per cent in the same test, having received 48 out of 50.
Principal Andrew Read was delighted with Verity's achievement. It was the first time a pupil at Bohally had achieved such an accolade during the 10 years the school had enlisted for ICAS.
"She's the only year 8 in the country to get a [gold] medal for spelling, so that's pretty special," Mr Read said.
Some of the words Verity may have had in her test include
- The Marlborough Express